Thursday, March 29, 2007

Propagating Succulents

I heart succulents. They're fascinating looking, so easy to grow, and thrive on neglect. The biggest threat to succulents in my area is frosts and freezes, which makes them good candidates for containers. I've been on a succulent kick for a few years now and noticed that whenever a leaf broke off and fell on the soil surface, I would often end up with a new plant!

Turns out tip cuttings root just as easily.

Here are the results of my first attempt to propagate succulents in flats. You don't need to get that fancy, though. Pinching off a tip cutting and sticking it in the same or another pot in plain old cactus mix works just as well.

Some "mother plants"

flats of cuttings

tip cuttings and leaf cuttings

I experimented with leaf placement by sticking some upright in cactus mix, some on the soil surface, leaf base pointing up and some on the soil surface, leaf base touching the soil. They're all rooting.

Ideally, you want to allow your cuttings to callus over for a few days in a dry, semi-shaded location before planting. Spring and summer are particularly good times for makin' babies... succulent babies... oh, heck, all kinds of babies...

regrowth after tip cuttings were taken


leaf rooting in air!

To learn more about propagating succulents, this link will get you started:

I also referred to this book.


  1. It looks like you have a great set-up for your cuttings...and makes me want to attempt more than the few I've done with accidentally broken off pieces!

  2. I wish I could garden in California, where leaves root in the air... ;) (Okay, you're not as environmentally lucky as Oregon, but I'm still jealous!)

    My poor succulents are now shrinking away from me... they hear my thoughts, I swear...

  3. (Okay, you're not as environmentally lucky as Oregon, but I'm still jealous!)

    Says who, unless "environmentally lucky" is a euphemism for excessive amounts of rainfall and proliferation of mosses and molds. ;-)

  4. i realize this blog was posted a while ago but i was doing a google search for propagating succulents and i found your page! i have just taken a bunch of leaf cuttings, they have calloused over, and i am now waiting for them to root. on average how long would you say your leaves took to root? i can't find anything online that tells me how long this takes and i don't know how long to wait before i acknowledge that it won't work. Thanks!

  5. Thanks.Will try this asap!